Update: Harrison Barnes will not play with a sprained left ankle, Brandon Rush will start in his place.
OAKLAND – As the Warriors roll through the NBA, rewriting the record book along the way, they’ve established themselves to be vastly superior to their California rivals.
When the Warriors face the Sacramento Kings Saturday night at Oracle Arena, they’ll be trying to extend their overall win streak to 22, their season-opening win streak to 18 and their California win streak to 10.
The Kings have been victimized in three of the Warriors’ nine consecutive intrastate wins, with the other six divided between the Clippers (four) and the Lakers (two).
Though the Kings (6-11) are much improved since a 1-7 start, they remain vulnerable on defense, allowing 108.4 points per game, second highest total in the league. That could spell trouble against the Warriors, who average a league-high 115.5 points per game.
Warriors by 15.
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Steph Curry vs. Rajon Rondo. These two All-Stars have contrasting games but the complete respect of opponents and each other. Rondo can play solid defense, and his pride likely will compel him to bring his best against the reigning MVP. If nothing else, Rondo is smart enough to realize the Kings won’t be taken seriously if they can’t at least compete with the defending champs.
Warriors: F Harrison Barnes (L ankle sprain) is listed as out. F Kevon Looney (hip surgery) is listed as out.
Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins (low back strain) is unlikely to play, a source told CSNCalifornia.com, F Caron Butler (L ankle sprain) is listed as questionable.
The Warriors were 103-94 victors in the first meeting on Nov. 7 at Sacramento and have won the last nine meetings overall – the longest win streak in Golden State’s West Coast history.
“We encourage our players to focus more on what we’re doing each day and prepping for games and those numbers will stack up without us having to focus on the actual streak. We’ve done a good with that. Our players are playing in the moment and being present with each game.” – interim coach Luke Walton